Posted On: 11/16/17 12:04 PM
Last season, Torrey Patton entered his senior season at Trotwood Madison without a single scholarship offer. Over the ensuing four months, Patton averaged 20.6 points, was named Co-Player of the Year in Division II, and took Trotwood to the State Championship game.
By the time graduation rolled around, Patton had six scholarship offers and was signed with Akron. A strong senior year can be a game-changer.
Patton’s story is an extreme example of a breakout year, but there’s smaller cases every season. This season, we have our eyes on eight players especially that should breakout, in terms of production or recruitment.
Carl Banks, 5’7” G, Toledo Waite
Banks has been a crucial member of this Waite team since transferring from Toledo Scott, but we expect a rise in notoriety this season. Banks has a clear path to Toledo City League Player of the Year because of his crafty ways of drawing separation, including stepping back for 3-pointers from a few feet beyond the arch. Banks is also a good finisher at the high school level, as he jumps into defenders for full-extension layups. A solid JUCO prospect.
Ryan Christie, 5’10” PG, Toledo St. John’s
Christie didn’t play last season after transferring from Toledo Central Catholic. In a more established basketball program, expect Christie to excel at the point guard spot. He’s already picked up an offer from Urbana and plenty of Division III interest. He’s a reliable kid that can stretch the floor with his jumper. Will be a key member of one of Ohio’s top teams in Division I.
David Gulley, 5’10” G, Lutheran East
Another transfer, this time from Solon to Lutheran East, the defending Division IV State Champions. Gulley replaces Maurico Tate as the point guard on a team who will now compete at the Division III level in the postseason. He’s a deadeye shooter from deep that commands attention, which should open up driving lanes for his slashing teammates. Gulley has also grown a couple inches, which could make him a better defender. A prospect that could range from high D-III/NAIA/D-II.
Grayson Green, 6’2” hybrid, Cleveland Heights
Green adds toughness to Cleveland Heights’ strong senior class this season, a team we expect to be drastically more successful this season. Offensively, Green uses his strong frame and athleticism to get to the basket by going through contact. He defends multiple positions on the defensive side because of said physical tools. Glue guy that could improve a roster at the next level.
Noah Pedelty, 6’4” G, Mason
Mason is a strong basketball program that had another 20-plus win season a year ago. But they’ve graduated key talent, leaving Pedelty as their best returning player. Playing 17.2 minutes per game last year, Pedelty only averaged 8.7 points. He also didn’t shoot the ball particularly well. However, the story should be much different this go-around, as the physical guard showed improvements as a scorer and rebounder in the summer.
JT Shumate, 6’6” W, Newark
Shumate, a Walsh signee, is the first player on our list already committed to a college program. While his recruitment stock isn’t looking to rise, Shumate’s senior year performance could make other Division II programs regret not offering. He’s a threat inside, with added muscle to his frame and solid athleticism, and outside with the jumper. With Kent State’s BJ Duling no longer on the team, Shumate should have the offense ran through him much more often.
Ajai Washington, 6’2” PG, Toledo Bowsher
Washington didn’t have much of a role last season for a senior-laden Bowsher team that won the Toledo City League. A team that once was deep with college talent is now all Washington’s. From what we saw during summer league play, Washington has the type of court vision that could make this cast of unproven players look better than their talent suggests. Washington will surely averaged double figures as a scorer too with his floater and hesitation moves. Cutting down on turnovers and hitting jumpers could be key for his recruitment.
Wesley Williams, 6’7” F/C, Columbus South
Williams hardly played last season on for the Columbus City League Champions. However, Williams showed flashes during the grassroots season and has since signed with Saint Leo. Williams is athletic enough to run the floor with South if they push it. In the halfcourt, his improved scoring ability from the high post could bring them a new dimension when their guards struggle. The Saint Leo commit could be a difference for a postseason competitor this season.